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Fan Fic / Swinging Pendulum

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“Too dangerous to live,” Central 46 declares. Locked up in Muken with half-healed wounds and helpless rage, Ichigo gets another chance to save his fellow Visored when the Spirit King whisks him away and offers him a deal.
He accepts and promptly gets his ass dumped in the past. Like, WAY back in the past. Ichigo really should be used to impossible things happening to him by now.
—Summary of Swinging Pendulum
Swinging Pendulum is Bleach fanfic by cywscross, who comes highly recommended on the Bleach fanfic recommendations page.

Ichigo is given a second chance by the Spirit King to make things right after the Visored are unjustly executed and himself imprisoned by the Central 46 post Aizen's defeat. He sent to the past, before Kaien Shiba's death, before the creation of the Visored to find a way to stop Aizen and Central 46.

Most likely a Dead Fic.

This fanfic contains examples of:

  • The Ace: Kaien is adored by many for being kind, skilled, hard-working and from a highly respected noble family.
    • Broken Ace: In contrast, while Ichigo is adored for his skill and ties to nobility, he comes across as very cold and arrogant/indifferent to those that either don't know him or adore him, respectively. He is also a Shell-Shocked Veteran, struggling with despair after losing everyone he held precious.
  • Adults Are Useless: The instructors never help Asuka with her coursework and ignore her when she's bullied.
    • Her cousin, Kyouraku Shinsui tried to intervene, but it gave the impression that Asuka was coasting on her family name.
  • All of the Other Reindeer:
    • Ichigo is isolated and decried by many of the other students due to his genius and connection to the Shiba clan. He finds it very petty. Most of the other students, on the other hand, are big fans of his due to his obvious skill and dedication, but Ichigo can't stand the kind of treatment fans give him. Thus, he pretty much ignores or avoids most of the other students.
    • Asuka is bullied and ignored by other students for being a bastard child of a noble family and a Shrinking Violet. One time, a bunch of students went a little too far in their bullying of Asuka and Rangiku...while Ichigo was still present. Needless to say, the events that followed ensured that no one would dare to bully either of them again, whether or not Ichigo was around.
  • Arrested for Heroism: Immediately after Ichigo defeats Aizen, Central 46 arrests him and the Visored while he's too injured to resist.
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  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Hisakawa and his lackeys fit this well, to the point that Ichigo compares Hisakawa's brand of condescension to Aizen's, except Aizen at least had the kind of power to back up such claims.
  • Big Bad: Aizen still needs to be stopped...
  • Bigger Bad: But Central 46 is a major cause for the story's problems.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Kaien is very protective of Ichigo, which bewilders him because no one thought he ever needed protection.
  • Black Sheep: Amongst the cheerful and dark-haired Shiba, the pessimistic and bright-haired Ichigo tends to stick out. He also sucks at Kidou, which happens to be a clan speciality.
  • Blue Blood: Asuka is part of the Fujiwara Clan, a lesser noble house that is a branch family of the Kyouraku clan.
  • Blunt "Yes": Asuka asks Ichigo if he really thinks that she can become a better fighter. Ichigo asks her if what he really thinks matters. Asuka bluntly and immediately tells him yes.
  • Brutal Honesty: Ichigo minces no words when he asks Asuka why she continues to do poorly during Academy zanjustu matches when he sees that she's been improving. He tells her that she's holding herself back and she will be worse than cannon fodder if she doesn't stop.
  • Cruel Mercy: Central 46 decides to permanently imprison Ichigo instead of executing him as a reward for killing Aizen. Shinji lampshades it:
    Shinji: What kinda fucked up acknowledgement is that?! Death is better, ya thrice-damned Shinigami!
  • Cursed With Awesome: This is one of the reasons why Ichigo is willing to allow the creation of Visoreds in the new timeline. Ichigo remembers Shinji admitting that being a Visored isn't that bad and that he enjoys the power boost it gives and it saved his life more than once.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Slowly, Kaien, Asuka, Koyonagi, and Rangiku break through Ichigo's shell.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Ichigo approached this during his time in the Muken, nearly giving in to his despair and losing himself to the oblivion.
  • Downer Beginning: The story begins with Shinji begging Ichigo to not rescue him or the Visoreds and save himself after they are all arrested by Central 46 after the defeat of Aizen. Ichigo is imprisoned in the Muken with no way to help them and all the Visored are executed.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Shunsui and Kaien end up talking about Ichigo's possible age (which he's kept hidden), with Kaien commenting that with how he acts he had to be at least two-hundred and fifty, or two-hundred, and eventually says "He can't possibly be any younger that one hundred!" The audience knows that Ichigo is actually somewhere around twenty, which would be particularly disturbing to them as typically children in Soul Society are under forty years old. Which would make Kaien's habit of calling Ichigo his "baby cousin" more accurate than he thinks.
    • In the same conversation, they also mention that though Ichigo's group are late getting back from a mission, they shouldn't worry because no one has sent a message for backup yet. What they don't know is that the leader (and the only one who could send anything) refused to do so out of pride before being knocked out in battle. The group are in fact desperate for help and barely scraping by.
    • A more comedic variant is that Kaien constantly worries for his "baby cousin" Ichigo's safety, not knowing that Ichigo could kick the asses of most of the captains.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Ichigo purposely invokes this with his training of Asuka. He trains her into the ground and insults her to get her to improve or to get her to quit. Although, he does take care of her when he overworks her and does pay her geniune compliments along with his insults.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After seeing the younger, unmarried version of his long-dead father, Ichigo and Kaien- as-support skip the family dinner to drink their weight in alcohol.
  • Easy Amnesia: Ichigo is initially amnesiac when Kaien finds him. It has the side benefit of easing Ichigo's integration into the Shiba clan without his issues.
  • Empty Promise: The wounded Ichigo promises Shinji that once he recovers he will get them out of prison. Unfortunately, Shinji and the Visored are executed before Ichigo can do anything.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • In a discussion about Ichigo's age, which he has not disclosed, Kaien assumes that Ichigo has to be two-hundred and fifty by the way he acts; at the least, one-hundred years old. Ichigo is actually twenty years old.
    • Kaien notes that considering Ichigo has said "Uncle Isshin" and Ichigo's father are/were worse than him, he must be nowhere near the top of Ichigo's shit-list. Ichigo is amused by the incorrect assumption that Isshin and Ichigo's father are different people.
    • At one point, Kaien tries to tell Ichigo that there's nothing to be ashamed of for growing up in the Rukongai—a natural assumption to make, given that he almost certainly didn't grow up in Seiretei, and that he's clearly a Shiba. Ichigo doesn't bother to correct him that he grew up in the Human World, and one-hundred years in the future, at that.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Kaien is established as a male Genki Girl who wants to be Ichigo's older brother figure in his little note to Ichigo, reminding him of their lunch date:
    Morning, cousin! Join me for lunch today, okay? I’ll swing by at noon to pick you up. Your favourite big bro, Kaien^_^’
    • Asuka is established as a Shrinking Violet when she refuses to look Ichigo in the eye and addresses him very formally when she tells Ichigo that he has been assigned to tutor her for extra credit by their teacher, Koyonagi.
  • Fantastic Racism: Central 46 declare the Visored to be same as Hollows and deemed undeserving of a trial and needing to be put down.
  • First-Name Basis: Rangiku tries her best to enforce this after she feels everyone has become good enough friends, going so far as to whack Ichigo with a fan whenever he deviates.
  • Frame-Up: In the original timeline, the Shiba fell from grace after Aizen pinned a multitude of crimes on them and had the Onmitsukidou assassinate most of the family.
  • The Gadfly: Koyonagi enjoys making things difficult for Ichigo.
  • Genki Girl: Kaien is a male variant. He is very energetic and cheerful.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Ichigo almost lost his mind from being isolated in Muken and is about to give in to despair and oblivion before the Spirit King rescues him.
  • Grade Skipper: After entering Ichigo into Shin'nou Academy, he proves to be so skilled that he doesn't have to go to the classes and is set to graduate within his first year.
  • He's Not My Boyfriend: Ichigo teases Rangiku by calling Gin her boyfriend, which she fervently denies.
  • Hellhole Prison: The Muken has Ichigo completely isolated in total darkness with no contact with the outside world.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Asuka enrolled into Shin'hou Academy despite her lack of talent in hopes of making something of herself, and is happy that Ichigo is giving her a chance.
  • In Spite of a Nail: One of the conditions laid out by the Spirit King for Ichigo's time travel is that Visored have to exist. That means Ichigo has to let Aizen do his Hollowification experiments, but somehow deal with the fallout.
  • Inspirational Insult: Ichigo finally motivates Asuka to not hold herself back and to ignore her bullies by insulting her, telling her that by fighting terribly, she would prove her bullies right, would have to return home in disgrace, end up dead, end up as cannon fodder, end up as bait, or stay taking care of her household. Asuka tells Ichigo that she will be a Shinigami and she will prove them all wrong.
  • Insufferable Genius: Invoked. Ichigo's Shin'hou Academy peers think he's an arrogant and cold Insufferable Genius. Ichigo goes along with it so they'll leave him alone.
  • Insult to Rocks: When Ichigo and Kaien are bickering once, Ichigo threatens to drown Kaien in a swamp. When Kaien comments on how that seems harsh, Ichigo says, "You're right; the swamp hasn't done anything to deserve getting you dunked into it."
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Ichigo is very skilled and is seen as a prodigy by everyone. He didn't have any friends before Asuka and Rangiku, because a lot of his peers hated him and he couldn't stand his fans.
  • It Runs in the Family: People think that being a charismatic genius runs in the Shiba family as seen in Kaien and Ichigo.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Koyonagi is mean and rude to everyone and gets away with it without reprisal. He is also the one to immediately spot Ichigo's potential and tries to break Ichigo out of his shell. His dialogue with Central 46 implies it's not entirely an act.
  • Kick the Dog: Central 46 do not treat Ichigo's serious battle wounds after they arrest him.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Central 46 have Ichigo ambushed, arrest him, lock him in chains, and imprison him when he's too injured from torture and his fight with Aizen to resist.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Asuka's from a noble family but has no friends due to being a bastard child and is a victim of constant bullying.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Koyonagi is ordered by Central 46 to kill Ichigo in this manner if Ichigo proves himself too hard to control.
  • Marry for Love: The Shiba Clan doesn't practice arranged marriages, unlike other noble families, and lets its members marry for love rather than for political gain.
  • Meaningful Rename: After his adoption, Ichigo is now Ichigo Shiba.
  • Metaphorically True: Urahara advised Ichigo to never tell an outright lie, but rather mix in as much truth as he can. Ichigo uses this method to reveal to Kaien and others some things about himself, without being completely truthful with them.
  • Mission from God: The Spirit King rescues Ichigo from prison when he's at the lowest point and sends him to the past with the goal of preventing Soul Society from drowning in its prejudice and to save the Visored, Arrancar, and Quincy.
  • Morton's Fork: When Ichigo is running away from Kukaku, who is trying to drag him to the Shiba compound for dinner, he runs into Kaien, who hides him. When she leaves, Kaien tells Ichigo he can pay him back by...coming home for dinner.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Ichigo and the Visored help the Shinigami stop Aizen. The Visored are executed and Ichigo is imprisoned for their trouble.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ichigo is horrified when Koyonagi figures out that someone taught him how to lie and his cover story doesn't match up with his abilities. He is terrified for both their sakes when Koyonagi vows to find out the truth.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: It really hits Kaien how drained Ichigo is after a very trying mission when the normally graceful Ichigo stumbles and almost falls over just from walking out of a room.
  • Original Character: Koyonagi Senzou, Ichigo's zanjustsu instructor, and Fujiwara Asuka, a fifth-year student Ichigo tutors who is Kyouraku Shunsui's cousin.
  • Peggy Sue: Ichigo is sent back in time to change history in Soul Society.
  • Perfection Is Impossible: Ichigo insists that while he wants to become strong enough to protect others, he isn't perfect and he doesn't want to be.
    "Perfection means you've stopped growing, means you can’t go any further. Imperfection means you can keep on growing, keep on moving forward for as long as you want to."
  • Precision F-Strike: Ichigo mentally makes one when he realizes Koyonagi won't give up before figuring out Ichigo's secrets and stands a good chance of succeeding.
  • Primal Fear: Muken is a prison of nothingness and sensory deprivation with only oneself as company. Ichigo still can't stand being in the dark as a result.
  • Princely Young Man: Once he's adopted into the noble Shiba clan, Ichigo of all people becomes one. He is adored by many in the student body for his skill, much to his annoyance. He has the very high status of being part of the main branch of the Shiba clan, one of the five noble families of Seireitei. He comes across as the Ice King type due to coming across as very cold and haughty to others.
  • The Quiet One: Early on, Ichigo talks very little.
  • Sadist Teacher: Koyonagi is infamous around the Academy for ridiculing and humiliating students and fellow teachers and is feared all around for it. Ichigo is the only exception to this rule.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: While Ichigo copes to the best of his ability, fighting in the war left its mark. He even gets a flashblack when he is accidentally triggered in the middle of a conversation.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Shunsui and Kaien conspire to get Ichigo and Asuka to date.
    • Ichigo does his best to help Rangiku and Gin rebuild their relationship in the hope that it will help him get Gin away from Aizen.
  • Shrinking Violet: Asuka is initially too shy to look anyone, especially Ichigo, in the eye.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Asuka notes that Rangiku tends to get harassed by people due to her generous figure.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Kaien is flat-out called a stalker by Ukitake due to how he obsessively keeps track of Ichigo's activities. Kaien weakly tries to justify it as wanting to know Ichigo better, since Ichigo refuses to tell him anything.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: It actually works to Ichigo's advantage. Since Ichigo looks so much like Kaien, Kaien immediately adopts Ichigo into the clan, reasoning that with his looks Ichigo has to be a Shiba.
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: In-Universe, Ichigo is constantly compared to Kaien despite his own skill and the massive difference in personality. Ichigo doesn't mind the comparison because Kaien's a good guy, but he does get annoyed because teachers do it all the time.
  • Suckiness Is Painful: When he's training Asuka, he tells her that she is so slow that it's painful to look at.
  • Teacher's Pet: Inverted Ichigo is Koyonagi's favorite student because he is too skilled to be in Koyonagi's classes and Ichigo is very blunt and rude when talking to him.
  • Time Skip: Three months have passed between Ichigo's meeting with the Spirit King and Ichigo regaining his memories after Kaien finds him in District 64 of Rukongai.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Asuka goes from a nobody placing in the bottom to single-handley winning the student tournament with the backing of three captains.
  • Tournament Arc: Asuka and Rangiku participate in one.
  • Training from Hell: Kyouraku Shunsui trained Ichigo how to use his dual-swords by training him in a swamp in the middle of winter without the use of shunpo. Ichigo trains Asuka in the same swamp to improve her Zanjustu.
  • Tranquil Fury: Asuka describes Ichigo as being this way when he's genuinely angry at someone, and that when he's yelling, he's really just annoyed.
  • Trial Balloon Question: When Kaien tells Ichigo that he and the Shiba have Ichigo's back, Ichigo asks if they would stand by him if he was declared a traitor. Kaien answers seriously that he would help Ichigo because he believes that Ichigo would either have a very good reason for being a traitor or have been framed.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Koyonagi is Ichigo's sort-of friend and mentor. He teases Ichigo, tries to get him to stop hiding his potential, and teaches Ichigo how to improve his poor kidou. He turns out to be working for Central 46 and out to either recruit Ichigo or kill him.
  • Trauma Button: Ichigo avoids visiting the Shiba compound as much as possible so he won't end up seeing his young father. During a family dinner, Ichigo gets triggered into an emotional breakdown when he sees his father joke about needing an extremely patient woman if he ever gets married.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The xenophobic Central 46 repay Ichigo and the Visored's assistance in the defeat of Aizen by jailing them and executing them.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Most of the time, Koyonagi and Ichigo constantly ridicule each other and bicker, but Koyonagi is on Ichigo's short list of friends and Ichigo is the only person Koyonagi is nice to.
  • Wham Line:
    • in Chapter 4:
    Koyonagi: I don't think you have amnesia.
    • in Chapter 5:
    Central 46: One last thing then – do what you must to make him rely on you, make him look to you for guidance so that it will be that much easier to compel him to our side one day. However, should Shiba Ichigo prove to be too wild for you to break... kill him. An accident out in Rukongai would do nicely. We do not need any of our plans reaching the Captain-Commander’s ears, or even Aizen’s, nor do we need either group gaining yet another prodigy. If the boy cannot be controlled, then it would be best to take him out of the picture entirely. You seem unnecessarily fond of that child, certainly more so than your job strictly dictates, but you would do well to remember your place. Make sure it does not affect your judgement and duty; do I make myself clear... Koyonagi?
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Ichigo wakes up safe in a well-lit Shin'ou Academy dorm room, after the Spirit King rescues him from prison and gives him his quest.
  • When She Smiles: Ichigo notes that when Asuka genuinely smiles her face lights up.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Instead of executing Ichigo along with the rest of the Visored, Central 46 "thanks" him for defeating Aizen by permanently imprisoning him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Immediately after the defeat of Aizen, the Central 46 have the Visored executed and Ichigo imprisoned due to them being deemed unnatural and too powerful to control.

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